[RBI] Strategy for Grade B Officer exam phase-1 & phase-2 by RBI-Topper Manojkumar with his marksheet & cutoff

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  1. About the author
  2. My clamour for RBI Grade B officer:
  3. General thoughts:
  4. Ice breaker and general approach:
  5. Newspaper and how to read it:
  6. Mrunal.org’s role in preparation:
  7. Topic wise approach:
  8. Phase I
  9. Phase II
  10.  Economic and Social Issues:
  11. English(Writing skills):
  12. Finance and Management:
  13. Other sources to be read:
  14. Interview:
  15. My Marksheet for RBI Grade “B” exam
  16. Conclusion:

About the author

NameManojkumar.E
Age24 years
HometownPudukkottai, Tamil Nadu
Education
  • % in 10th: 91.45%
  • % in 12th: 95.75% (200/200 in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology)
  • % in U.G: 85.6%
CollegeQualification: Electronics & Communication engineering
College: College of Engineering Guindy(CEG), Chennai (Anna university’s main campus)
Work experience
  • Senior Business analyst in Mu Sigma Business Solutions Bangalore (Oct 2012- May 2014)
  • Assistant in RBI Chennai (Jan 2016-Present)
Previous attempts
  • This was my first attempt in RBI  officer’s exam.
Tamil Movies
  • Cricket, cooking and watching tamil movies

My clamour for RBI Grade B officer:

Friends, RBI has released notification for Grade “B” Officers exam Batch 2016. Click me to apply. In this regard, I wish to share some insights from my experience.

RBI Grade B officer Manoj Kumar strategy tips
Myself Manojkumar- like many of you, I’m a small town boy  aspiring for bigger things in life. Like most of the aspirants do, I entered into the fray of competitive examinations by starting preparation for UPSC civil services examination. Economics as an important and contemporary subject was very new to me as I did not have even a little of exposure about the subject in school/college. Everything was new and interesting and more importantly it made me think more as the subject is more dynamic and mathematical. Two months into the preparation and I came to know about RBI’s Grade B officer examination. One of my friend told me at that point of time that his sister had appeared for the exam an year back and was awarded a very low score in the interview (probably single digit mark). From there on, I made up my mind that this post is something that is almost unreachable and might not even suit me as I am a minnow in this subject. Very limited number of seats(around 100 every year) added assault to injury. I continued with my preparation for CSE but there was still a great craving about this exam and post. I used to take a look at previous year question papers of Grade B post which did no good to me but only aggravated my fears. I could not even get the simplest of doubts cleared and this exam seemed to be a nightmare. That is where I came across mrunal.org which is almost a game changer for economics and its basics. A friend of mine gave several PDFs from mrunal.org which explained things in a very simple manner that I not only got clarity of basics but also developed a liking and love towards the subject. The fear that crept into my mind had also subsided. After knowing the role of RBI in nation building, I got a feeling that it can give me strength, satisfaction and respect that a civil servant gets. The scope of service is also very high as the central bank has become a major player in a world of volatile economy. That is when I decided that I would jump into Grade B exam preparation

General thoughts:

Preparation has to be two pronged: one for phase 1 and other one for phase 2. It is wise to approach the exam topic by topic rather than going book by book. Reading precise and staying up to the point is essential as the exam is objective. At the same time, it is also required to get the conceptual clarity (if not in depth, at least a basic clarity) as some questions did test the concept clarity. Moreover, English writing skills and interview requires a fair understanding of concepts. Books suggested and reference books given by RBI board are too big to cover. It is only by sticking to the syllabus that we can try conquering it to the best of our satisfaction. It is better to start the preparation with phase 2 and then move on to phase 1 with one or 1.5 months before the exam.

Ice breaker and general approach:

As this exam is a blend of banking, finance and economics, it is better to build the base before jumping into the syllabus. Complex issues like those in the economic survey can be easier with a good understanding of concepts. To start with, “Indian economy key concepts by Shankar Ganesh” is a very good book as it explains things in a simple (simpler than NCERT) and lucid manner that anyone can understand. 10 chapters and a very small book, so it always keeps you in the groove so that you feel confident once you complete the book. Chapters involving capital markets might look slightly complex but repeated readings can make it look easy. Crux here is to get a feel of what economics is and how it is very much important in the current context of nation building. And moreover, it covers basics of many topics in our syllabus such as WTO, Banking, National income, Budget, etc. It is better to institutionalise the terms by taking up discussions or taking mock vivas among friends. NCERT reading from 9th to 12th is advisable depending upon the availability of time. One can ignore theorotical economic sections like money multiplier and all the complex graphs which would automatically fall under Economics optional in Paper-III. Glancing enough can do a world of good. Our base can be further strengthened by reading PDFs in mrunal.org which is in a dialogue format (funny as well as understandable). Doing all this will make you a person who is no longer a beginner in economics. It would provide oil for your mind engine when you jump on to contemporary issues

Newspaper and how to read it:

As this exam is a test of banking/economic knowledge, there is a common misperception that one needs to study newspapers like Mint, Financial express, Economic Times, etc. But this is not the case here. I am not discouraging you to follow the above mentioned newspapers. But it is always better to channelize the resources available to get the best utility out of it. It is more than enough to stick with “THE HINDU”. The first paper of the syllabus reads Economic and Social issues. Issues is the key word here signaling that the contemporary part needs to be given more importance than the static basic parts. Also hardcore financial and economic dailies cover topic in a way that might not connect the dots between economic issues and the underlying socio economic factors for the same. Questions were even asked from Polity in Paper-I of phase 2. Further General awareness section in Paper-1 requires a general newspaper to be read rather than an economic newspaper. So, be choosy in reading newspapers that you can afford to as time is not a luxury. You could be a regular newspaper reader or a new comer. But make sure that you follow newspaper regularly as it would provide you the following things:

  • Good understanding and correlation of topics in the current socio economic scenario
  • Fodder for essay in Paper-1 of phase 2
  • The confidence to face the interview
  • General awareness section of phase 1
  • English section of phase 1
  • Current affairs in paper 1 of phase 1

It is good to keep the syllabus by heart while reading the newspaper. That will tell us what is to be covered and what is to be ignored. I am providing you here with examples of what to read and what not to

To be read:
1) GDP growth accelerates to 7.9% in the final quarter
2) World Bank announces a new criteria for calculating poverty line
3) 1.44 lakh crores of Education cess collected remains unutilized
4) 25% of children below 5 years of year underweight
5) Jats demand reservation

Not to be read:
1)L&T plans to invest Rs. 6000 crore in the coming quarter
2)Modi govt. not pro poor: Rahul
3)Egypt flight shot down

Mrunal.org’s role in preparation:

I am not writing this to praise mrunal.org but truth has to be said. IF there could be any resource that in this world can help you for preparing RBI Grade B, it could be none other than mrunal.org’s videos on “how to approach economics for UPSC”. It perfectly suits for Grade B preparation also and in fact looks tailor made for the same. In 2015, there were about 70 videos under 7 topics. I saw all the videos once and institutionalized them by utilizing the PPTs provided. I almost read it around 5 to 6 times and made sure that nothing is missed from Economic Survey/Budget. The videos are a nice craftwork of Economic survey, Budget and current affairs intertwined for the current socio economic scenario. Best thing is that it is available for free to everyone. People who are from non-hindi states might face slight issues in following the lecture but the pictures and graphics in PPTs would make it easier. Completing this and repeated revisions of the same will definitely provide an edge in paper 1 and paper 3 of phase 2

Topic wise approach:

Phase I:

SectionSource
General awarenessThe Hindu, daytodaygk.com monthly PDFs ,mrunal.org
EnglishThe Hindu
QuantsTIME CAT materials
Logical reasoningTIME CAT materials

Test series: www.careerpower.in  I also got good reviews about oliveboard test series. Decide the section wise order even while taking up mocks and stick on to this. My order is as follows: General awareness, English, Quants, Logical reasoning. First two sections would take only 30-40 minutes and you would have covered 110 questions. Scoring high in General awareness is very important as Quants and Logical reasoning sections are really tough to get through where clearing the sectional cut offs should be the aim.

Phase II

I am mentioning here the static areas to be covered under these topics. It is very essential to update the same with contemporary areas in these topics from newspapers, Budget, Economic Survey, Yojana, Vision IAS current affairs etc

 Economic and Social Issues:

TopicSource
Growth and Development, Measurement of growth12th NCERT, Shankar Ganesh, Sanjeev Verma
Poverty alleviation and employment generation in IndiaRamesh singh, Sanjeev verma, 11th NCERT
Economic reforms, Industrial and labour policy, Privitization, GlobalizationSanjeev Verma, Wikipedia
BoP, Exim policy, IMF, WB, Regional economic cooperationMost of them are dynamic. Wikipedia would help getting how these institutions were formed
Multicultarism, Demographic trends, Urbanization and migration11th Geography old NCERT Land and people, Latest census data
Positive discrimination, Indian political systemArticles and special provisions in favor of backward and scheduled classes

English(Writing skills):

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away
An essay a week keeps the mark intact”

Essay and Precise writing were the two questions asked in this paper with 50 marks each in both the questions. The name is self-explanatory where in writing skills play a major role for scoring high in this paper. This is something that comes with practice in writing. In order to improve writing in subsequent iterations, it is always important to read quality content. And Essay topics would be mostly from current socio economic issues. So there need not be a separate content that has to be read for this paper. It is all about putting the content in the right format and structure. Practicing essays and getting it reviewed from a peer who is really good at content pertaining to the topic and English language should be the key. Editorials in The Hindu which are very relevant to current economic scenario can be flagged, noted and revised for some good fodder and key stats. Economic survey, Budget, Yojana articles can spice up your essay when mixed in right proportion. It is also important not to take precise writing lightly. Taking help from online resources and practicing is a must. All these small things will definitely pave way for a bigger thing-i.e. success

Finance and Management:

TopicSource
Financial systemMrunal, Shankar Ganesh
Financial Markets, DerivativesNCFM materials(by Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE))
Recent developments in Banking,Public sector reforms,DisinvestmentsEconomic survey, Current affairs from Vision IAS
FRBMARamesh Singh
Finance commission recommendations, Inflation trendsMrunal.org, Rbi official site, Shankar Ganesh
ManagementQuestions were very basic and hence a basic understanding of all management terms in the syllabus is more than enough. Online resources and Wikipedia would help

Other sources to be read:

Yojana- This would provide an analytical understanding of current schemes and hence facts would become a matter of simplicity once analytical thoughts are developed
Vision IAS current affairs- Contemporary affairs are the most sought in any competitive exam. This would provide a monthly break up of current affairs and hence note making need not be done by us which would save a lot of time
Daytodaygk.com- Monthly PDFs of current affairs (factual). This is mainly useful for General awareness section of phase 1

Interview:

Not getting shortlisted in the final stage after crossing phase 2 doesn’t mean that you have solely lost it because of a poor show in the interview. Most of them fall behind in phase 2 and even a better score in interview won’t help. So it is always better that phase 2 marks are sufficiently above the cut off marks so that it would provide the cushion even if something drastic happens in the interview. However it is best to approach the interview with an open mind without speculating what we would get for the interview. The panel would be very friendly and tries to bring the best in you. So it is very important not to panic to express what you try to convey. One has to really make sure that one is 100% sure about the things mentioned in the bio data which was sought by RBI services board before the interview. It is even ok to have a simple resume but overstating and not able to justify your stand will bring curtains. It is even ok to say “Don’t know” but making sure that the previous question’s poor impact doesn’t get reflected in the next one is very essential. This would put a test on your resilience and ability to perform under adverse conditions. Mock interviews are a matter of discretion and even self-talks are enough if you are confident. Create own questions and answer it as many times as you can. Throw up all the weird questions with respect to your resume and get it answered before you step into the interview hall

My Marksheet for RBI Grade “B” exam

Phase 1:

SectionMarks/Total marksCut off pertaining to my category
General awareness54.75/8016
English20.75/306
Quants13/306
Logical Reasoning15.75/6012
Total104/20078.5

Phase 2 and Interview:

PaperMarks/Total marksCut off pertaining to my category
Economic and Social issues78/100
English73/100
Finance and Management71.25/100
Phase 2 total222.25/300182
Interview40/50
Total262.25/350234.50

Conclusion:

At the end of the day, even after so much preparation there would be questions that looks unanswerable. What we are doing here is to equip ourselves with all the weapons in our armory to make sure we win the battle even if we lose some soldiers. Presence of mind and application on the exam day are also going to be vital as this is an objective exam and hence elimination is the best way to go. Customize yourself by taking a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. You could be a Civil Service aspirant or a Banking aspirant or solely a RBI aspirant. Adjust accordingly and launch your preparation. All the Best!

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Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

239 Comments on “[RBI] Strategy for Grade B Officer exam phase-1 & phase-2 by RBI-Topper Manojkumar with his marksheet & cutoff”

  1. wonderful article by Manojkumar . Deep undertanding of the examination that we are preparing for help us lead to success. Being a civil service aspirant , he find easy to gather the required materials and understanding the basic concepts . All the aspirants should make the eye of it , when time is avaialble …

  2. Can any body share prevoius year finance and management questions,,,economic and social issues,,

  3. can u please clearify about the qualification and number of attempts..

    qualification is 60% in graduation + 60% in 12th + 60% in 10th OR is it just graduation with 60% ??. (i have done btech)
    and how many number of attempts for general catagory.

  4. Hi Manoj,

    Can you tell me how shall i prepare for 2016. I have very less time left. I want to clear in this attempt only.

    1. Try to maximise ur score from gk(3 months before now) and english(depends upon how strong u r) and cross sectionals in quant and logical.. That should be the way forward as u have very less time from now

  5. CAN YOU POST EXPECTED ESSAY TOPICS FOR 2016 EXAM?

  6. hii manoj sir ist off all congrats!! its feel good to read ur article.
    i m a hindi medium student ,i m poor in English, i will manage in phase 1 but what can i do with phase 2 descriptive english.
    plz guide me

    1. I hope u r good with basics.. Try following newspaper headlines and move on to editorials and other tougher sections once u r comfortable reading headlines.. Things come by practice.. Having confidence will automatically make u reach ur target!! All the best

  7. Hi Manoj,

    can you please give some information about pre exam training? how many days and hours?

    1. Not really sure about that..Refer to the notification for more info.. I myself didnt attend the training and so could not throw much light about that

  8. Found this article really useful. Handy guidance for freshers who aspires to crack the RBI Officer exams.

    1. Thank you Jagdeep :)

  9. Hi Manoj
    I would like to seek your help for reasoning section as to how to strengthen reasoning.i mean what books to refer and of course how to attempt reasoning?

    1. I followed TIME CAT books as I was comfortable doing it. Follow any book that has a very high standard as the exam demands the same. Make sure u practise enough to do well in the exam

  10. HELLO.
    I want to start my studies for this exam from now onwards. is it possible with only a month remaining?

    1. It depends on how much u have already prepared and the knowledge that u have acquired till now. Otherwise one can give a good attempt with 6 months of sincere preparation

  11. Rbi grade b 2016 exam in the next month in september.. Do you think if i start now i will be able to clear it? If i give my 100%

    1. Refer to the previous reply

  12. Hi Manoj, congratulations to you;)
    Anyway, can you pls tell that if we begun now, as in 30 days before, are there any chances of getting selected, if we study day n night??

    1. Thank you!! refer to the previous reply :)

  13. MRUNAL SIR…. MANOJ SIR…PLS GIVE THE DIRECT LINK FOR FINANCE STUDY MATERIAL ..I SEARCHED IT MANY TIMES BUT COULDN’T FIND IT…PLS HELP
    AND I READ ONLY SANJEEV VERMA’S BOOK ..IS THAT ENOUGH OR DO I NEED TO BUT THE SHANKAR GANESH ECONOMY BOOK ALSO ?
    PLS REPLY

  14. Hello Manoj,
    Many congratulations on your success.
    It would be great help if you could please guide through the economic issues part. Will iasvision notes suffice for the same? Though you have mentioned NCERT 12TH , however, I am unable to locate several topics in it stated in the rbi notification.

    1. Thank you vartika!! Vision notes are pretty good and it kinda covers many contemporary issues..There are few topics in the syllabus which are slightly redundant like the 13th finance commission and so those topics can be ignored.. See to it

  15. if we are not download the Upsc prelim id …….then also can it count our round?

  16. Hi Manoj
    Please provide me the link to download mrunal economy PDFs asap…
    TIA
    Maheswari

  17. Mrunal Sir please guide about the General Knowledge portion in phase 1 whether it will be around banking and economics or like SSC or other state exams

  18. Hi Manoj. Congratulations on your selection. I come from chennai. Would like to get in touch with you to discuss about this preparation. My Email : [email protected]. Let me know when you find some free time, It would really be helpful for me. Thanks.

  19. according to noitification phase 2 exam also objective right?/

    1. Yes except for paper 2

  20. Hi Manoj sir,
    I m Divya and new to this sector.I m preparing for RBI grade b just after notification came.I had followed ur advice.But still m confused in GA portion. So I want to know that in GA do we need to memorize all data(mainly numbers) in order to be updated with the economic terms.Can u please elaborate the GA section.As there is also static portions soI request u to pl guide me in this section.

    1. Hi Divya,

      GA is usually facts oriented and hence you need to know what ever has happened most recent to the exams. 6 months of current affairs prior to the date of examination should do suffice for GA section. Refer to the materials that I have mentioned in the blog

  21. @Manoj Sir,
    Heartiest congratulations on your success! I would like to know the book which you referred for F&M?

    1. Whatever I have mentioned here in the blog CGS!! I was lucky enough not to get too much finance numericals when I gave the exam.. I heard good reviews about Prasanna chandra and CAIIB materials.. Compare it with the syllabus and see whether they can do justice

  22. hi friend ,
    i want to know when the allotment will take place

    1. For 2017, recruitment might start by august month or so going by the previous trends!!

  23. Hi Manoj. Congrats! Please let me know one thing, what is the transfer and posting policy for RBI Grade B? Can you be transferred to anywhere across India without your consent? Actually my would be husband is based in Kolkata and transfers can be an issue for me. Thanks.

    1. Yes u would be transferred after completing 5 years in a particular office.. Mumbai is the only exception where you can even work up to 10 years.. Anyways RBI considers requests but only for a particular tenure.. Otherwise, you should be ready to move across India

  24. hi manoj , can u tell me that the videos uploaded by mrunal in 2015 are relevant to this 2016 rbi exam i am already watching it but i am confused about the videos related to budget 2015 .should i watch those videos or not?

    1. You can refer to the latest videos of Economic Survey 2015-16 uploaded by Mrunal.

  25. HI ALL ME TOO PREPARING FOR RBI GRADE B EXAM. ALL THE BEST FOR ALL

  26. hi manoj , i am preparing for RBI grade b 2016 so please let me know that from where can i get the notes for gk of last 3 months together

    1. Refer to the sites mentioned in the blog!!

  27. Hi manoj , for reasoning and quantitative aptitude is it enough to practise previous year bank exam papers??

    1. Cant say that way.. Reach a stage that u can score freely in quants and logical even when u face the toughest of papers.. Standards are way too high in these two sections

  28. Hi..Manoj..

    I am also from Tamilnadu… your article create hope among us.. Now i am working as a MANAGER in leading old gen. bank. But my aim is to be a GRADE B officer in RBI….Pls send your mail id… i personally need your guidance…

    1. Hi Gokul.. I have given it out all here.. U will discover urself when u start preparing.. Remain focussed, trust urself and proceed with ur preparations

  29. It is available online … Just make a Google search

  30. Hi again Manoj!! Are numerical questions also asked in Paper 1 and Paper 3 of Phase-II? What is the level of difficulty for the same??

    1. Paper 3 in fact has some numericals which I came to know that 2016 paper was way too tough.. Paper 1 has number related questions from E.survey and budget

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